5G was ubiquitously displayed and discussed at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019. The context of the Internet of Things (IoT) was no exception, with module manufacturers racing to be the first to announce and exhibit 5G products. 5G modules were showcased by Sierra Wireless, Fibocom, Quectel, and GosuncnWelink (formerly ZTE Welink). Notably, it was vendors from China that dominated, all using chipsets supplied by strategic U.S. partners and investors. Fibocom showcased its FG100 module, based on an Intel 5G chip with millimeter wave (mmWave) technology and a purported throughput rate of 6 Gbps per second . Intel invested in Fibocom, and despite having exited the 5G modem business for smartphones after MWC, is still keenly evaluating its 5G opportunity for the IoT. Uniquely among the 5G modules on show, the FG100 was displayed in a mock-up scenario, streaming real-time advertising content for a digital billboard. But, despite its stated shipping date of 2020, competing vendors were openly skeptical about the state of development and market readiness of Intel’s chip and Fibocom’s module product.
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